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Vice Media Group files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

The as soon as high-flying Vice Media Group filed for chapter safety Monday, kick-starting a court-supervised reorganization course of that the corporate mentioned in a press release would put together it for a sale.

The Chapter 11 submitting follows successive rounds of grueling layoffs on the former media large, which at one time was valued at greater than $5 billion. However after its early success with a digital-first mannequin — heralded because the business’s future — Vice has struggled financially in recent times.

“To facilitate the sale, VICE has filed voluntary petitions for reorganization beneath Chapter 11 within the U.S. Chapter Courtroom for the Southern District of New York,” the corporate mentioned in a press release Monday. Executives mentioned a consortium of potential consumers, together with Fortress Funding Group and Soros Fund Administration, had supplied to buy the corporate for about $225 million.

All of Vice’s particular person manufacturers, together with Vice Information, Refinery-29, and i-D, will proceed to provide content material all through the submitting course of, the corporate mentioned — including that its worldwide entities weren’t a part of the court docket submitting.

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Executives mentioned they hoped the accelerated sale course of would enable them to proceed paying worker salaries, shield the corporate’s enterprise place and safe its long-term future. The objective is for the corporate to emerge “financially wholesome” this summer season, they mentioned.

“We can have new possession, a simplified capital construction and the flexibility to function with out the legacy liabilities which were burdening our enterprise. We stay up for finishing the sale course of within the subsequent two to a few months and charting a wholesome and profitable subsequent chapter at VICE,” co-chief govt officers Bruce Dixon and Hozefa Lokhandwala mentioned within the assertion.

Regardless of its pioneering digital-first focus that’s now the norm throughout the media panorama, Vice has struggled. Executives introduced in April that they had been chopping their standard tv program “Vice Information Tonight,” Reuters reported. Vice’s union projected that about 100 workers could be laid off consequently.

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The chapter submitting comes one month after BuzzFeed, one other digital-media pioneer, introduced that it was shuttering its information division after 12 years. The positioning’s co-founder and chief govt blamed challenges stemming from BuzzFeed’s mannequin of free digital journalism — together with the covid pandemic, a “tech recession” and declining promoting income throughout the board.




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